Willie - About.com User
How To Increase Your CaloriesThe main goal is to increase your overall intake of calories every day, but it doesn't really matter if you eat more meals or increase the size of the meals you eat right now. If you're not used to eating much at any one time, you may prefer to eat several small meals or snacks throughout the day. If you'd rather eat less often, increase your portion sizes or add more foods to each meal.
It might take a while to gain the weight you want, but be patient and continue to choose foods that are good for you until you reach your goal weight. I've got a few tips to get you started:
- Have an extra slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter at breakfast.
- Add extra cheese to an omelet.
- Slice an apple and serve with peanut or nut butter.
- Stir chopped nuts into plain yogurt and top with honey.
- Carry a bag of trail mix for a convenient snack.
- You can increase your protein intake (and calories) with protein bars.
- Serve yourself larger portions of starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet corn.
- Add calories with a nutritious beverage such as milk, 100-percent fruit juices, or vegetable juice.
Your meals should be balanced with the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Choose a generous portion of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, legumes or tofu, and serve with a side of green and colorful vegetables. Add a serving of starchy foods such as potatoes, sweet corn, rice or pasta as energy-dense carbohydrate sources. Add a few more calories to plain potatoes with gravy, and top your vegetables and starches with butter, margarine (trans-fat free), olive oil, sauces or cheese.
If you prefer to snack on smaller meals throughout the day, choose energy-dense foods, such as trail mix made with dried fruit, granola, nuts and seeds. Eat sandwiches made with peanut or other nut butters, or use lean turkey or chicken breast slices and add calories with cheese or avocado. Creamed soups are generally higher in calories than clear broths, and you can add even calories to by adding a spoonful of dry milk powder.
Dietary Supplements?You might be tempted to buy dietary supplements for bodybuilding that promise weight gain and bigger muscles. Some of these products may contain hidden ingredients that can be harmful or compounds that haven't been studied for efficacy or safety. The United States Food and Drug Administration maintains a list of tainted bodybuilding products that should be avoided.
If you feel you can't gain weight by simply increasing your caloric intake, you should see your health care provider before taking any protein or weight-gaining supplements.
Resistance training exercises (weight lifting) may help to increase your muscle size, which will increase your body weight. Aerobic exercises, such as running and stationary bicycling, are better for fat loss and excessive aerobic training may cause you to lose more weight. Resistance training can be done at a health club, gym, or at home with the proper equipment.
More Help for Gaining Weight
- Not sure what to eat to gain weight? Don't settle for high-calorie junk foods, eat these healthy foods instead: Foods To Gain Weight.
- Find out how much weight you'll need to gain during your pregnancy: How Much Weight Should I Gain While I'm Pregnant?
- Understanding how energy-density works will help you gain weight by choosing foods that are higher in calories: What is Energy-Density?
- Have you filled out your frame with a few healthy pounds? How did you do it? What Are Your Favorite Foods For Gaining Weight?
- Are you're frequently strapped for time? I've got tips for Healthful Foods In a Hurry.
- I've got an example of a weight-gaining menu: Sample Menu for Gaining Weight
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